LAST SEASON: Chatham re-established itself as one of the top teams not just in Morris County, but the entire state last season as it finished with a 16-8 record. It reached the Public C final, where it suffered a heartbreaking 3-0 defeat to Summit, despite holding a 32-8 advantage in shots on goal.
HEAD COACH: Brendon Herr, fourth season. 39-28-5 career record.
CONFERENCE AND CLASSIFICATION: MCSSIHL-Mennen Division; NJSIAA Public C.
KEY PLAYERS GRADUATED: Chatham graduated eight players from last year’s state finalist, including two key forwards in Tanner Acone and Thomas Winter. In addition to that, juniors Alex Laferriere and David Andreychuk will not be returning this season as both are playing at prep schools this season.
FORWARDS: Five seniors will be counted on to lead the way offensively, and this group includes Evan Schmidt (8 g., 17 a.), Nate Marshall (3 g., 3 a.), Brian Nall (3 g., 1 a.), Matt Keane (4 g., 4 a.) and Michael Sciaretta (3 g., 3 a.).
DEFENSE: The Cougars will have plenty of experience returning on defense, led by seniors Colin Pierce and Nick Meyer. Those two were part of a unit which surrendered just 1.58 goals per game during its run to the state final. Also look for more contributions from juniors Danny Mahoney and Matt White.
GOALTENDING: Zach Pendergrast took over as Chatham’s starter last season during his junior year, and he flourished. He posted a solid .913 save percentage while starting every game last year, and another big year from him will be key to the team’s success.
OUTLOOK: Chatham is a program that is historically used to a high level of success, and it will certainly be hungry to bring home a state title after coming up painfully short in last year’s final. However, it does have a lot of offense to replace from last year’s team with four of its top scorers gone. The team has a solid defensive unit and a strong goaltender, so if it can find its way offensively, it should be a serious contender in Public C yet again this year.